How to Study for Objective Test Questions

Chalkboard showing "true" and "false" with checkable boxes next to each; true is checked.

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Objective test questions are those that require a specific answer. An objective question usually has only one potential correct answer (although there may be some room for answers that are close), and they leave no room for opinion. Objective test questions differ from subjective test questions, which have more than one potential correct answer and sometimes have room for a justified opinion.

Objective test questions may be constructed as a list of possible answers, requiring the students to recognize the correct one from the list. These questions include matching, true/false, and multiple choice. Other objective test questions, like fill-in-the-blank questions, require that the student recall the correct answer from memory.

How to Study for Objective Questions

Objective questions with short, specific answers require memorization. Flashcards are a helpful tool for this process. However, students should not stop with memorizing terms and definitions, as memorization is only the first step. As a student, you must gain a deeper understanding of each term or concept in order to understand why some potential multiple choice answers are incorrect.

Imagine that you need to know the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation for your history test. To succeed on the test, It is not enough to remember what the proclamation did accomplish. You must also consider what this executive order did not do.

For example, you should know that the proclamation was not a law and that its impact was limited. This knowledge will help you predict which wrong answers might be presented on the test and will enable you to outsmart any trick questions.

Because you should go beyond memorizing answers for your test terms, you should team up with a study partner and create your own multiple choice practice test. Each of you should write out one right and several wrong answers. Then, you should discuss why each potential answer is correct or incorrect.

Tackling Objective Test Questions

Ideally, you have studied hard and you know all the answers. Realistically, however, there will be some questions that you find a little tricky. Sometimes, a multiple choice question will have two answers that you can’t quite decide between. Don’t be afraid to skip these questions and answer the ones you feel most confident about first. That way, you know what questions you need to spend a little more time on. The same goes for matching style tests. Eliminate all the options you know are wrong and mark out the answers you've already used. This process will make the remaining answers a little easier to identify.

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Your Citation
Fleming, Grace. "How to Study for Objective Test Questions." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Fleming, Grace. (2020, August 27). How to Study for Objective Test Questions. Retrieved from Fleming, Grace. "How to Study for Objective Test Questions." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).